Canadians will spend an average of $15,000 on their weddings this year, says a new BMO survey.

They’ll stick to inviting about 100 guests, but nearly 40% of those polled say they can’t afford their ideal weddings.

Read: 40% of marriages begin in debt

The survey finds people between the ages of 18 and 44 will spend the most (about $18,000), while engaged couples older than 65 will only spend about $5,000.

To pay for their big days, most couples plan to draw on investments or other savings to cover 60% of expenses. For the rest, they’ll depend on their:

  • parents (for 13% of total costs)
  • credit cards and lines of credit (for another 13% of total costs)
  • gifts and donations from family and friends (for 5% of total costs)

“Regardless of who’s covering costs, it’s important [for couples] to have open…conversations” about money, says Julie Barker-Merz, CEO of BMO InvestorLine.

Read: 4 tips for wedding budget success

That’s key since only 28% of survey respondents are actively saving for their weddings. And, on top of paying for their weddings, Canadian couples plan to spend about $5,000 on their honeymoons.

Top destinations include: Hawaii (24%), the Caribbean (22%), Europe (18%), Australia or New Zealand (11%), and Canada (10%). For reference, says Barker-Merz, “two airline tickets from Toronto to Honolulu cost around $3,850, and a seven-night stay in a five-star hotel [can] run as high as $4,500.”

Read: Resort offers couple free wedding for holidays

She notes you help out clients by suggesting they use TFSAs to put aside funds and keep them separate from other savings.

Regional breakdown of results:

Region Average budget/average

# of guests

Average cost of honeymoon Can’t afford dream wedding Actively saving for wedding
National $14,761/100 $5,272 38% 28%
Atlantic $11,573/120 $3,541 32% 28%
Quebec $8,448/77 $3,278 43% 21%
Ontario $14,547/106 $4,905 35% 31%
Prairies $27,239/135 $18,703 34% 28%
Alberta $24,360/115 $4,969 40% 40%
B.C. $14,177/82 $4,836 40% 21%

For more, read:

When spouse = business partner

Protect clients before a third marriage

Originally published on

Add a comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Register on